Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, recently flew to the United States on a business trip and the Government is to purchase carbon offsets (Carbon Credits) to cover the carbon dioxide emitted by his trip.
This will be the first time that the Irish Government will purchase carbon offsets to mitigate the travel arrangements by Government Ministers.
The carbon offsets will cost €437.64 and are being purchased abroad from My Climate Org. The offsets cover the emissions from business class trips by the Minister and four officials for three flights - Dublin to New York, Washington to Newark and Newark to Dublin - according to the Department of Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources. Minister Ryan travelled within the States by train, rather than flying.
The Government intends to put its own system in place to compensate for the environmental damage caused by ministerial flights, which will include planting mature trees in urban areas.
It is understood that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, John Gormley TD, is to bring a memorandum to Cabinet on the issue in coming weeks.